Modern Sales Performance Management Software: Value & Benefits

Abhishikha Chatterjee
September 24, 2021
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September 24, 2021
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Hasn’t it been frustrating checking on how efficiently your sales reps are hitting their quotas? And do the sales figures translate into business revenue?

Considering the dramatic improvement in sales processes and aligned technology, sales leaders have no room for frustration.  

The power of sales performance management software makes it easier for leaders to rely on a platform to monitor sales performance, recognize troubled spots, and evaluate sales reps’ progress. 

In case you are wondering what happens next, then the answer is simple. 

Results received from the performance management tool aids in coaching sales reps- making sales bigger, better, and faster.

To begin with, let's briefly define performance management for sales teams?

What is sales performance management?

Sales performance management(SPM) is a method that looks after the sales team’s effectiveness at an individual and group level. 

SPM ensures and monitors sales teams’ progress. It identifies, recognizes, and addresses problems with sales employees and the established processes.

Sales Performance Management
Sales Performance Management - Gartner

Sales performance management organizations leverage three key components:

Build sales performance management software strategy on three priorities: Planning, Insights, and Incentives.
Build sales performance management software strategy on three priorities: Planning, Insights, and Incentives.
  1. Sales Planning: Planning the sales teams’ assignments and market segmentation is part of the planning phase. It takes into consideration account segmentation (account organization and segmentation), territory allocation (territory reassignment), quota determination, and resource planning (geography-wise allocation).
  2. Sales Insights: Here the sales team focuses on the metrics and KPIs that aid the sales leader in evaluating and improving their business results. This phase includes KPI setting, quota management, sales forecasting, product pricing, and pipeline management.
  3. Sales Incentives: Incentive planning accounts for the commission plan salespeople are offered to encourage them to sell better and focus on specific products and services. Incentive planning includes performance benchmarking, compensation structure, reward structure, and the achievement process.

Traditionally, sales didn’t develop sophisticated processes to enable the sales team to close more deals with optimum resources. There were no tools that supported a commission-based selling structure.

Thanks to modern sales performance management, reps and managers are turning into an efficient clan of winners. But what keeps the process going?

The new-aged sales processes are intelligently backed by a software system that automates the performance management process- reducing a truck-load of manual intervention. 

A quick introduction to the Modern Sales Performance Management Software

If you ask us, what is Sales Performance Management Software? Then here’s what we know.

A sales performance management (SPM) software enables sales leaders to measure sales operations against organizational sales goals. 

You can perceive the Sales Performance Management Software as the wingman to your sales tech stacks such as the CRM, Dialer System, and Project Management. It's an indicator that ensures you're getting maximum value from your laid down strategies, constructed sales processes, and investments.

What are the capabilities of sales performance management software?

  • Keep track of team and individual sales performance
  • Provide visual representations of sales performance
  • Monitor progress concerning the team and personal goals 
  • Data reports that aid in understanding success and failure

But if you ask us, how is a modern sales performance management system different?

Then, here’s how we classify the modern version of performance management tools:

1. Optimum use of resources

"Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives." -Michelle Obama.

That’s what the modern SPM does. It creates a more significant revenue difference leveraging the incumbent sales resources.

Performance management tools that help monitor and analyze performance also help understand areas of improvement, ensuring the sales team doesn’t need to invest more but spend optimum. 

2. Integrated with other sales tools

Gone are the days when sales tools worked in silos. 

Today’s solutions need to talk to each other, exchange valuable data, and make navigation easy for their users. 

A good example would be how Pipedrive and Convin users enjoy automatic call recording task creation on the CRM platform.

The handshaking process also creates a significant impact on analytics. 

3. Backed by A-grade analytics 

As a follow-up to the previous point, we will discuss how vital is analytics.

Analytics is the leading leg of your performance management system. It provides identification, diagnostic, and predictive exercises that enable informed decision-making and course corrections on time.

If your sales performance management software doesn’t support analytics, you’ll have difficulty analyzing your sales data. 

In fact, in 2017, Microsoft used analytics based on the machine learning model to predict customer satisfaction. Additionally, they found that collaboration was the top factor predicting customer satisfaction, increasing its accuracy from 78% to 93%.

4. Insights on course correction

Along with analytics, the modern SPM solution should be AI-powered, capable of offering help and recommendations for improvement.

Recommendations on sales performance are a must-have functionality for scaling sales teams with high-volume enterprise accounts and high-velocity sales organizations.

Example of AI-powered solution: Conversation intelligence software of Convin.

5. Focuses on customer

In mid-2017, Microsoft executed a major revamp of their sales organization. The main objective of remodeling was to understand and respond better to their customer needs. One of their biggest questions was, “Do we spend enough time with our most important customers?”

Remodeling is a task that comes after sales performance analysis. Hence, the revamping approach of Microsoft emphasized improving sales performance keeping the customer in the center.

Sales performance management software should keep the customer in the center throughout discovery, diagnosis, analysis, and suggestions. 

6. Highly scalable

The majority of sales teams are designed to grow over the years. Because the more business you generate, the more heads join the demand generation teams. 

Along with a scalable sales process, the sales performance management software must support the growing team and business. 

Note: Scalability will likely be a high-priority criterion when investing in sales performance management software.

How can sales leaders benefit from Sales Performance Management Software?

The benefits of the SPM software extend throughout the organization. The below list reveals a thorough picture of the key benefits of Sales Performance Management Software:

  • Performance Discovery- Identify your sales team’s strengths and weaknesses and compare them with a benchmark or target. The discovery phase will help ascertain the right course of action for low-performing sales reps, for example, reassignment, coaching, etc.

  • Granular Planning- Deeper insights on the team and individual level assist in quota management and tracking sales reps’ performance against specified goals- sales cycles can be planned and improved based on individual reps or teams’ performance.

  • Sales training- Allows users to improve the planning processes, as well as sales training and placement to boost sales. On evaluating the sales team’s performance, you identify the weakness of your sales team. Expedite the sales training process in the right direction to guide your reps towards better conversions. 

  • Territory assignment- Knowing your sales reps' strengths is useful in aligning the right sales project. An expert in product demos and someone good at handling frustrated prospects can be assigned specific territories. This way, you build a team with individuals owning different operations of the sales process. 

  • Predict Sales Trends- The performance management tool can aid in the better forecast of future sales trends and sales staff compensation rates, specifically for commission-based compensation structures. 

  • Build a stronger pipeline- With a well-managed performance management plan in place, you can devise a practical sales pipeline framework. Just not create, but progress reports will help in improving the pipeline for your company.

  • Sales commission and compensation- The performance-based insights avoid underpaying and creating resentment among your employees. By recognizing your team's performance, you can properly reward and incentivize them. Determine appropriate sales compensation (e.g. salary, commissions, bonuses) based on team-wide performance data- managers can give incentives to high-performing sales representatives based on the data.

  • Low churn rate- On average sales professional turnover rate is 35% — a dramatic number compared to the average turnover rate of all industries, which is just 13%.
    But when you train your sales reps on sales skills that demand preparation and encourage career growth, they are more likely to feel valued by their employer, which makes them less likely to quit.  

  • Recruitment and onboarding- Using the internal insights about your existing performing team, help solicit new resources who show the potential as valuable assets and strengthen your team. 

  • Proactive selling- The bigger and more powerful reason for investing in sales performance management software is to shift from reactive selling to proactive selling. 

Hey, we can’t let you go just yet.

Not without telling you another secret on how you can reap more benefits from the performance management software for sales teams.

So, here’s what you need to know- Sales enablement management software and the conversation intelligence tool when aligned with performance management delivers outstanding sales results. Want to know how? 

Techniques for Coaching Your Team Toward Better Sales Performance- What to add?

1. Sales Enablement Software:

Sales enablement is performed in an ongoing manner to facilitate the sales team’s performance. A key component of the strategy is encouraging the performers and coaching the underperformers. Using a collateral repository, sales playbook, product & service knowledge, sales scripts, training content, and a few best practices, your sales team can close critical deals faster. 

In combination with Sales performance management software, enablement platforms are a valuable supplement to train employees and develop coaching programs. 

2. Conversation Intelligence

Conversational Intelligence software is another remarkable solution that easily integrates with your customer engagement platforms such as Google Meet, Email, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Dialer System, CRM, etc. The recorded calls are transcribed and analyzed to leverage the conversations for training, preparation, and forecasting opportunities.

Conversational intelligence coupled with sales performance management software solutions
aids in recording and analyzing sales reps’ conversations. This helps managers and leaders to evaluate performance better and celebrate exceptional performance while coaching the under-performing individuals. 

So, are you ready to use modern sales performance management software?

You have certainly learned a lot about performance management here. However, many organizations are unable to exploit the tool to its full potential. Isn’t it?

Well, that shouldn’t be the case with you. So, here are 3 tips and takeaways to ensure you make a wise decision while using the performance management software. 

  1. Transparency on Performance Indicators: The established KPIs and metrics should be communicated to all the stakeholders well in advance. The performance indicators shouldn’t come across as a surprise to the sales team. 
  2. Encourage Proactive Sales- Sales leaders should encourage and emphasize forecasting and predictive selling. Analytics should take a central role in all sales decisions. Tools such as performance management software and others are more effective when the mindset shifts from proactive to reactive. So, discourage guesswork and biased decision-making. 
  3. Account the Performance Gap: Whether you like it or not, 30 percent of reps will outperform the bottom 30 by as much as a factor of four. Closing the gap shouldn’t be the top priority, and the performance management tool must align with the same. The top performers should be incentivized to perform better, and the under-performers must be coached more to make it on the growth graph. Both types of performers should be treated separately and incentivized differently.

Companies that redefine their sales strategies based on performance insights display significant improvement in conversion rate.  Additionally, new reps benefit by ramping up faster. 

Hence, investing in modern sales performance management software is a wise investment and gradually becoming a need for many industries. 

So, don’t be late. Read, research, and develop a sales performance strategy before investing in a performance management solution.

"Quality performance starts with a positive attitude." -Jeffrey Gitomer
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